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Painting Lake George: 1774-1900

What can one say about landscape paintings that hasn’t already been said? Not much, really, but Painting Lake George: 1774-1900, opening at the Hyde Collection this weekend, should have weary art critics happily dusting off a few favorite adjectives. Forty-five paintings have been loaned to the Hyde for the exhibition, each of which takes a different view of the lake and its surroundings. There really, truly is very little more that can be said; better to go take in these breathtaking images for yourself.

Painting Lake George: 1774-1900 opens this Sunday (June 5) at the Hyde Collection (161 Warren St., Glens Falls). The exhibition will remain on display until Sept. 11. For more information, call 792-1761 or visit

Alive at Five: Surf City All-Star Band

Ladies and gentlemen, set your Igloo coolers on stand-by alert and ready your beer cozies (Oops. Nope. Can’t do that any more. Gather some cash.), the Alive at Five free concert series begins tonight (Thursday) at Riverfront Park (Corning Preserve, Albany). From here on in (well, until Aug. 11, anyway), your Thursday nights from 5 to 8 PM are booked.

The series kicks off with the Surf City All Stars, featuring former members of the Beach Boys (Al Jardine and David Marks) and Jan and Dean (namely Dean). Critics have lauded the band for their faithful renditions of their former outfits’ hits. Note to Mike Love: You can sue the man out of the band, but you can’t sue the band out of the man, apparently. “They sound like the real deal because they are the real deal,” according to the L.A. Weekly Music Review.

Subsequent Thursdays will host Celtic act the Blackthorns, rockabilly mavens Eddie Angel and the Neanderthals, the Spanish Harlem Orchestra featuring Ruben Blades, Mary Wilson of the Supremes, “newgrass” wonder Sam Bush, Little Feat, Leon Russell, Terrence Simien, and Eileen Ives & Immigrant Soul.

The Surf City All Stars will play Riverfront Park (Corning Preserve, Albany) tonight (Thursday, June 2) at 5 PM. Opening will be local bluesmen the Tom Healey Band. For more information, call 434-2032 or visit

American Farm

Director James Spione didn’t have to look far for the subject of this documentary about a “five-generation struggle to maintain a small farm in central New York state.” His cousin, Langdon Ames, was born and raised and now runs a dairy farm in Richfield Springs, a lovely (if not exactly flush) village an hour and a half (or so) west of Albany on Route 20. Ames, the film shows, may be the last of the family to run the farm, as his sons have all moved away.

In an e-mail, Spione explained that American Farm, which will be shown at Saratoga Film Forum this weekend, “reflects a number of issues of concern to New York residents.” These include the loss of farmland and open space, the economic difficulties small farmers face, and the struggle to maintain family traditions. (This subject also is addressed in David King’s story “Left Behind,” on page 14 of this issue.)

American Farm will be screened on Saturday (June 4) at 7 PM and Sunday (June 5) at 6 PM at Saratoga Film Forum (Arts Center Theatre, 320 Broadway, Saratoga Springs). Filmmaker James Spione will lead a discussion after both screenings. Tickets are $6 general admission, $4 members. For more info, call 584-FILM.

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